The federal Information Technology Ministry conveyed its position to a division bench of the Peshawar High Court on Thursday. The court was hearing a petition filed by lawyer Mina Muhibbulah Kakakhel, who challenged the nearly year-old ban on YouTube.
    
YouTube was blocked in September 2012 by former premier Raja Pervez Ashraf after clips from the anti-Islam film "Innocence Of Muslims" were posted on the site, triggering violent protests across the country.
    
Kakakhel, in his petition filed in the High Court, challenged the ban and argued that students were facing problems in accessing academic content hosted by YouTube. He asked the court to direct authorities to filter blasphemous materials and reopen the site.
    
During the hearing, the judges were informed that the Information Technology Ministry had been trying to devise methods to block blasphemous materials on YouTube. The Ministry informed the bench that the ban on YouTube would not be lifted till a filtering mechanism is put in place.
    
The judges observed that if the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority lacked experts to address the issue, experts from other countries could be asked to block the blasphemous materials.
    
Deputy Attorney General Iqbal Mohmand told the bench that the PTA and Information Technology Ministry had submitted written replies on the issue while the Interior Ministry was yet to respond.
    
The judges asked Kakakhel to file a rejoinder to the replies from the PTA and Information Technology Ministry and adjourned the case.

(Agencies)

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